Friday, July 01 2016

Israel rejects calls for an international probe into flotilla attack


It emerged yesterday that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a UN proposal for an international commission to probe last week's attack on a flotilla of aid ships by Israeli commandos. Instead, Israeli officials will reportedly carry out their own inquiry.

Activists meanwhile claim that the attack by Israeli soldiers was premeditated. Much 'of the video footage confiscated from Marmara passengers remains undisclosed, and Israel has sought to undermine some eyewitness accounts by alleging some of the passengers were terrorist sympathisers bent on martyrdom.'

Expressing her fear that 'moderation will be amongst the most panful casualties of continued aggression and hardline policies' in the Middle East, Rania Al Abdullah today wrote in the Independent:

'The attack [on the flotilla] stunned the world because of its blatant and absurd disregard for anything resembling international law, human rights, and diplomatic norms. Its glaring outrageousness stunned, but didn't surprise, me. It cannot be viewed in isolation. It is another upshot of a dogma long fermenting on Israel's political landscape.

It is a doctrine that lives for itself and off others. It survives by tapping into the subliminal and cognisant levels. It implants into public consciousness a set of tenets that see Israeli's very existence as eternally under threat, to be defended through any means (preferably through use of force to show the enemy who's boss). It is best served through the adoption of an "us against the world" mentality. By its very nature, hardline ideology is self-serving and self-perpetuating. Its primary goal is to survive – and that precludes everything. If to exist it must redefine what is acceptable, redraw the lines of international law, and re-imagine what weapons are appropriate – so be it. Assigning themselves authority and immunity, Israel's leaders feel licensed to do whatever they like and not expect an international outcry.

But this hardened path is fraught with dangers for all of us. These radical policies debar Palestinian value and, by extension, human value. Harsh measures then become more palatable. Inflicting violence upon an innocent majority to punish the guilty few now seems necessary. Every day the blockade continues is another day our humanity remains under siege.'

Elsewhere, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced yesterday that Britain will donate £19 million in aid for refugees in Gaza to assist schools and health clinics, adding that:

'The humanitarian situation in Gaza is both unacceptable and unsustainable.

The UK is committed to helping those people affected by this crisis and that is why I am today providing £19 million to help meet their most basic needs.

There is an immediate need for unfettered access to Gaza if the humanitarian situation is to be improved, to allow the economy to get back on its feet, and to give the young people of Gaza the prospect of a better future.

I call on the Government of Israel to open the crossings to help end this humanitarian crisis.'

Noble as this gesture may be, the real issue is not about insufficient funds but rather that only a fraction of the aid that is needed in the Gaza Strip is permitted entry by Israel.

  A detailed examination of goods that are permitted and prohibited has found that newspapers, tea, paper and chocolate are among some of the items that have at one point or another, been barred.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 16:15

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